Let me just start out by saying that this isn't a recipe for daal, which might confuse you a little bit. It sure looks like it. And I mean, it IS, it's just not a real, traditional one (it has red curry on the ingredient list!) and I don't want to step anyone who actually knows how to cook Indian food over the toes. Because to be honest, Indian cooking really scares me. I have a friend (hi Hina!) who tries to convince me it is fairly easy, but it just seems so involved and difficult and intimidating. So, as with all other cuisines, I just kinda make it up as I go, try to make it easy, follow my gut and aim for something tasty. And tasty, it is. My friend actually told me that this is the best dish she had ever had at a dinner party. My dinner party! So it's tasty, easy, and the best thing Andrea has ever tasted (those might not have been exactly her words, but they are now) so what are you waiting for? We have had some warm days around here lately, but the leaves are starting to turn, there are more cloudy days and I’ll bet real fall will be here soon enough. Only good thing about the colder temperatures is all the good stews and soups. Hell, I eat that anyways during the summer, but I might be a weirdo. So if you’re one of those people that are waiting for colder weather, bookmark this for a stormy, rainy day.
Let's look at the recipe, shall we?
2 tbsp red curry
2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp harissa (or other chili paste)
1 tbsp ginger, grated
1 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and soaked in water for 10 minutes
1 can (13.5 fl oz) coconut milk
1 can (13.5 fl oz) diced tomatoes
vegetable broth, approx. 2 cups
2 handfuls spinach
4 pre-cooked or raw* potatoes, diced
salt + black pepper to taste
Start by rinsing and soaking the lentils in cold water.
Heat either oil or a bit of broth in a big pot and cook curry and spices, except for garlic.
Add garlic and onions, cook for a few minutes.
Drain the pre-soaked lentils and add them to the pot along with coconut milk and diced tomatoes. *if you’re using raw potatoes, this is the time to add them!
Bring it to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for approx. 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Add broth as needed.
Add spinach and potatoes for the last 10 minutes or so, until the spinach is wilted and the potatoes are heated through.
Serve with yogurt, lemon, and cilantro. The daal is great on it’s own, or you could serve it over rice or with naan bread on the side. Or both, if you’re feeling fancy!